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American Experience: John and Abigail Adams

by WGBH

Published 2006
Topics history


Bernard Margolis, president, Boston Public Library; Kelly Cobble, curator, Adams National Historic Park; Jonathan Chu, dean, education, UMass Boston; Peter Drummey, librarian, Mass Historical Society; Elizabeth Deane, producer, American Experience, WGBH

The Adams story provides a strikingly intimate look inside a marriage of true companions, says Deane, for whom life included not just the great events memorialized in textbooks, but also laughter, loneliness and family tragedy.To present the couple's story in their own words, Deane drew extensively on the more than 1,000 Adams letters that survive, born of their lengthy time apart, as John served his country at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and as a diplomat in Europe. Their revealing, often deeply personal correspondence, chronicles an inspiring political marriage along with the birth of a nation. A visionary and gifted political thinker, Adams moved a reluctant Congress to declare independence from England, and single-handedly secured millions of dollars in loans to keep the American army from collapse during the Revolutionary War. Later, he was named the first US ambassador to England. He penned the Massachusetts constitution, which would serve as the basis for the US constitution. He was the nation's first vice president and its second president. Through it all, Abigail remained his most trusted political advisor and confidante, as well as his dearest friend. She adored him and he adored her. It's a great love story.

PBS | NPR Forum Network program with WGBH Lectures

Boston Public Library

2006 Jan 10


Producer WGBH
Production Company WGBH Forum Network
Audio/Visual sound, color

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